DAVID RHOADES (Raleigh) successfully defended a workers’ compensation claim. The plaintiff worked in a factory and suffered a compensable left knee injury in 2000. Plaintiff underwent three surgeries on the knee and ultimately returned to work with the same employer. Plaintiff last saw his treating physician in August 2003. Defendants paid all permanent partial disability owed on a Form agreement approved in May 2004. Plaintiff ultimately filed a Form 18M in January 2006 signed by the treating physician. Defendants objected to the Form 18M and the matter was referred for a hearing. At the hearing, plaintiff acknowledged that he had not returned to his treating physician since August 2003 or any other physician with respect to his knee. Plaintiff also testified that he had not taken any medications for his knee since the last time he saw his treating physician. Plaintiff’s supervisor testified that he had worked with plaintiff and had not seen any problems in plaintiff performing his job. Plaintiff’s treating physician testified that when he signed the Form 18M he did not have the information that plaintiff had not been having problems and had not needed medical treatment for the knee since August of 2003. Based on the additional information, the treating physician testified that plaintiff was not at a substantial risk of needing future medical treatment, although he was still at some risk based on the injuries and surgery and characterized any risk as moderate or even lower. The Deputy Commissioner found that the evidence presented showed that there was not a substantial risk of the necessity of future medical compensation for the knee injury and denied future medical treatment. Plaintiff did not appeal.
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